Robby Cook is a comic con artist and animator based in Austin, TX. We had the pleasure of seeing his artwork while strolling the artist gallery aisles at Dallas Comic Con: Fan Days. His mashup sketches of various fandoms such as Star Trek, Doctor Who, Sailor Moon, and the Marvel superheroes caught our eye!
Interview questions by ChinLin Pan
You’re a comic con artist and an animator! What drew you to those types of art?
Robby: I just have a love and passion for both. I grew up loving anything animated and all things super heroes. So whenever there was an animated Superhero show (X-men, Voltron, Spiderman) it was the best of both worlds. I initially went to college for graphic design. But, one of my teachers told me I should check out the animation program. I didn’t think that I’d have the patience for animation, but once I got into it, I fell in love. Once I graduated, one of my teachers gave me my first shot at working professionally. I’ve been forever grateful for that, it allowed me to grow and have the chance to work with some amazing artists and animators in Austin. As a result, animation has influenced my personal art style. In several of my pictures, I like to take live action shows or movies and turn them into cartoon characters. Like something you would see on television.
What is your creative process?
Robby: I work almost completely digitally. I do my initial sketching in Photoshop and I do all of my clean up and coloring in Flash. In animation I use Flash, and I just incorporate a lot of what I do there into my own personal work. It is a little different because most artists would do their coloring in Photoshop. But I love the clean look that Flash gives to a picture. It’s a vector-based program too, so I can scale my picture up as large as I’d like without losing resolution.
What are your favorite mashups to draw? I loved the “Disneyfied Superheroines” and “Firebending Princess.” And the all-female X-Men and Justice League pieces are awesome!
Robby: Thank you! I love all mashups. I just love taking two very different fandoms and trying to find a harmonious fusion of them. My favorite mashup though has been the “Avatar”/Princess series. It came to me randomly one day in the car. At that time, I think it was during the 2nd or 3rd season of “Legend of Korra.” I started with Pocahontas as an Airbender and then just kept going with the series. I love all the princesses and really just wanted to take them out of their cookie-cutter environment and make them into cool-looking benders. I didn’t think that people would get it at first, but the response has been wonderful and I greatly appreciate everyone sharing them and saying such nice things about them.
Since you’re based in Austin, we absolutely need to know … Which local coffee shop is your favorite?
Robby: HAHA, I hate to admit, I’m a Starbucks junkie. That is my favorite place to work. I also worked for them for five years, so I am a little bit biased. BUT anytime I break from them and go for something more unique, I go to this place called Epoch. It has a very cool, funky vibe to it. And their drinks are amazing! I do also love Mozarts; sitting next to the lake is very relaxing.
If you had to pick one fandom universe to live in, which fandom would you pick and why?
Robby: Oooh that’s a tough one. I’d have to say the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’d love to be a powered person. Especially now with all the shows on Netflix, they have made the worlds more realistic.
What are you working on next?
Robby: Right now I am trying to finish up some commissions. I try to have a new print available at every show. For Alamo City Comic Con, I am going to have a limited run on a Hocus Pocus picture for Halloween. I haven’t really decided on which one to make for New Years in Dallas. I have a Magic The Gathering pic I am working on and several ideas I have on the back burner. Best place to see updates is on my Facebook page and Instagram. 🙂
Will you be at any other comic cons this year?
Robby: Yes, I will be at Alamo City Comic Con in San Antonio at the end of the month, and I will be at Nerd Year’s Eve with Stan Lee in Dallas. 2017 I am looking to do my first out of state show.